Baltimore Sun

Bridge Play

- Frank Stewart

“Is that who I think it is?”

Cy the Cynic asked me before a duplicate.

“Lotta is here visiting again.”

“I’m doomed,” Cy groaned.

“She plays like Minnie, only more so.”

Minnie Bottoms wears old bifocals that make her mix up kings and jacks, often to her opponents’ dismay. Cy has been Minnie’s chief victim.

Her sister Lotta has the same vision “problem.”

Against Cy’s four spades,

Lotta Bottoms led the jack of clubs. Cy took dummy’s ace and hastened to discard club losers on the diamonds. Lotta ruffed the second diamond ... with the KING of trumps, no doubt thinking it was the jack. She cashed two clubs and led the king(!) of hearts.

DOWN ONE

Cy won and next let the eight of trumps ride. He was stunned when Lotta produced the jack for down one.

“Those glasses got me again,” Cy told me. “If she ruffs the second diamond with the jack, I’ll lead a trump to the ace, playing her for the king due to her opening bid.”

Cy should table the ace of trumps at Trick Two.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: AQ9652 ♥ 32 ♦ QJ ♣ 7 6 5. You deal and open two spades, weak. Your partner bids 2NT. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: A 2NT response to a weak two-bid is forcing and asks for more informatio­n. Partnershi­ps use various schemes, such as artificial rebids by opener to show a good or bad suit or a good or bad hand. In a popular method, opener shows a side feature: an ace or king. If that is your agreement, rebid three spades.

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